How to see this spectacular holiday meteor shower


Local astronomer, Mr Andrew Murrell, will also be at the workshop to share stories of the night sky and solar system, and will have a giant Dobsonian Telescope on hand for an unforgettable view of the meteor show.

From December 13-14, one of the most prolific celestial events will take place in the form of the Geminids Meteor Shower.

The Geminid shower ranks as both the richest and most reliable of the annual meteor showers.

"With most showers, you can be lucky to see maybe 10 to 20 meteors per hour, with the Geminids there's usually 50 to 120 giant, blazing fireballs streaking through the sky". In addition, the brilliant planet Jupiter will be rising in the east around the peak of the Geminids meteor shower and will be visible until dawn.

How many of these shooting stars can you expect to see?

What if it's cloudy on the big night of the Geminids, Dec. 13-14?

The meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini, which rises around sunset and climbs almost overhead by 2 a.m. The brightest stars Pollux and Castor in the constellation Gemini are named for the famous twins from Greek mythology.

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A meteor shower is not just an increased number of meteors, however. The thin crescent Moon does not rise until 3:57 a.m. Thursday and will not interfere with the meteor shower. You can look in any direction.

The previous year that there were similarly favorable conditions for the Geminids I saw 68 of them in my best hour, along with about 14 meteors from other directions.

Proximity to bright city lights can also adversely effect your viewing experience according to Earth Sky, so get as far away from population centers as you can.

The stars - or at least the Moon - will align this month for a terrific display of meteors.

When looking at Gemini try to look about 30 to 45 degrees left or right of the constellation to spot the Geminids. The meteors will be going to all parts of the sky. By 9 or 10 p.m. the numbers could be up to four dozen or more per hour.

An hour or so before sunrise on December 13, the crescent moon is just above the now dim planet Mars, with Jupiter well to the lower left.